So this is me on my modelling debut at the Welshot event “How to Pose a Model” and I have to admit I was not expecting to be “the wrong” side of the camera!
But I have to say it was great fun and more importantly I got a taste of what it is like to be a model having to take the photographers direction to help create the shot the photographer wants to get.
First off and back to the beginning of the evening at my first ever Welshot event and I didn’t know what to expect when I arrived. We met in the lounge area of the hotel and the other Welshotters made me feel welcome right from the offset and after a few minutes chatting we were taken trough to where the studio had been set up with two very simple single light setups.
After being organised by Lee into two groups the ground rules were laid out….. Here we go I thought, but I was very pleasantly surprised….
Rule 1: The photographer who was up and shooting was to be the only one shooting. I have been to a few other events like this and other photographers have been shooting over my shoulder, and it not only distracts the person shooting, but it also confuses the model, and yes I have been guilty of doing it too. We hadn’t even started and I was impressed with this rule.
Rule 2: Don’t make the model uncomfortable by “Pushing the levels” of what they feel comfortable doing. Lee made perfectly clear that rule 1 and 2 were all about respect to your fellow Togs and the model they were paramount.
Eifion took over the group and gave us some theory on how to direct our model and then he let the cat out of the bag, one professional model and 2 groups…. that’s right group 2 would be modelling for their fellow Togs. There were a few gulps, sideways glances and then because I had come straight from my day job in the office and wearing suit and waistcoat I was volunteered by my group to be the first “model” and as time progressed the other members decided I was doing such a good job that I should continue (or was it that they really didn’t want to model ) which was fine by me as I was starting to enjoy helping others get “the shot” they wanted. The other thing with actually being the model is you pay a lot of attention to how to pose and take direction which hopefully improves your own directing ability when shooting a model.
At the half way stage we stopped for food (and did Lee say there were chips) and 10 minutes of chatting with fellow Welshotters and the wonderful professional model after which round two started, and onto shooting Karianne, oh by the way Lee made it quite clear if we didn’t give direction, then Karianne would not pose for us….. gulp…. no pressure there then, out of my comfort zone big time…. but hang on that’s why I was there wasn’t it, to learn how to pose a model not just use my camera.
The other thing I should mention is that there were people of all levels and experience and cameras of all shapes, sizes, makes and cost and I know people with starter cameras can feel overwhelmed when someone has a pro camera in the group. Well it works the other way too…. I am fortunate enough to have a Canon 1DX but I have always felt that I am expected to know everything about photography because I have a fantastic camera, but here is the thing, I don’t, I am learning too. I always feel awkward shooting models but even more so in groups because of this expectation which I place on myself. At this Welshot event I have to admit I didn’t feel under pressure to “know it all” and I learnt a lot from just watching the other members pose the models and just how confident people were with their creative ideas of their own, progressing down their own photography journey.
So the big question to ask is did I learn how to direct and pose a mode? Well I think the answer has to be yes … but I would certainly go on this event again because it is all about experience, practice and confidence.
I am now really looking forward to my next Welshot event “70’s Glam Rock” next week where I can hopefully build on what I have learnt.
Would I recommend Welshot ? Yes, but not just because they have the knowledge and skills to teach but because the atmosphere was great.
There was a distinct lack of camera snobbery, no one trying to show off and prove anything, just a good relaxed group of people who want to learn and develop while having fun.
Featured Image Credit: Steven Boswell